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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 14, 2012 10:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan's 'Tempest' , somewhat Dead related

For me, I like some of it as much as anything he's done since the '90s.
His voice hasn't deteriorated as much as I'd feared... He sings with quite a bit of energy & feeling, even snarls at times. Loved the singing, mostly - I fell in love with his 'old man voice' back on Good As I Been To You, and it just keeps getting craggier!
I have to admit I have not been a fan of his post-Time Out Of Mind retreat into the musical forms of the '30s & '40s, and this album continues that retreat. I like this one much more than Together Through Life though (haven't brought myself to play that one again since it came out).

The first half of Tempest worked a lot for me - particularly Long & Wasted Years, my favorite; but in general the songs are interesting.
My interest faded in the second half, though, with the longer songs... Generally I have no problem with long Dylan songs - Highlands? Sad-eyed Lady? bring it on! - but the total lack of musical incident & variety here really get dull after a few minutes, & you have to focus on the words while the band grinds on changelessly.
The album starts with a cheat, in a way - that cute 40-second old-timey musical bit to start Duquesne Whistle. But I don't think there's 40 more seconds anywhere where the band plays without Dylan! In fact, the rule seems to be, the longer the song, the less the band does - he might as well be singing over a loop. For me, Cross the Green Mountains was a much more successful attempt at a long ballad than Tempest is.
Tin Angel, lyrically was a pretty cool murder ballad, but musically was just a drag for me. So I don't feel that some songs are "overlong & unfocused," it's that he doesn't put in enough instrumental coloring in to keep you focused. (There's also not much melody in these tunes.)
And in general, lyrically a lot of these songs call for a much more rip-roaring band than we get...

And for the big minuses, I was not happy at all to hear the 'Mannish Boy' backing for Roman Kings (Dylan seems determined to put these super-common blues riffs on his recent albums), and I didn't like Roll On John at all...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 15, 2012 12:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan's 'Tempest' , somewhat Dead related

I have had a overall similar experience as well. I thought his voice would be shot, but he still can use it as a singer all these years and cigs later. First half was very good, second half as you wrote. I did not like Bob as sexual conqueror as it seemed to cut crosswise to his character. Maybe if he loosened me me up with a few, "I'm a dirty old man and I don't very much care." I know that was implied, but it didn't work for me.

> I was not happy at all to hear the 'Mannish Boy' backing for Roman Kings (Dylan seems determined to put these super-common blues riffs on his recent albums), and I didn't like Roll On John at all...
I'll put up the full quote b/c I can not agree more. Worst songs he's "written" in a while. Awful.

Scarlet Town is my favorite track. I thought it was Gillian Welch's version when I saw the title. It's amazing that he is still relevant and working. When am I going to stop underestimating this man. He probably has 5 more albums in him and years of touring.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Sep 15, 2012 7:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan's 'Tempest' , somewhat Dead related

I think B.E.'s comment, and mine agreeing , that the accordions, and violins being welcome, relate to this . We could use an instrumental break, or solo (big surprise coming form a Deadhead) . His harmonica solos used to be important to his songs .
Melody ( and his ability to sing them ) has been a problem for me with Bob in the last 3 albums . One of the things I like about the title track, in the old timmy melody he uses . On its length, I have heard that "Highlands" was much longer, but Lanois got him to edit it down . I think, this could have helped this song, and/or some rewrites . Maybe it will grow on me, like "Brownsville Girl" did for me .
I like the words and singing of "Early Roman Kings", and using blues cliches, is not new to him, but "Mannish Boy" is so over used, that it is like Bob flipping us the bird . I haven't formed an opinion on "Roll on John" , seems a little unimportant , given the subject matter . At least "Lenny Bruce" had the benefit of being odd .

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 15, 2012 6:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan's 'Tempest' , somewhat Dead related

Not a snatch of harmonica here! A few (brief) instrumental breaks in some of the shorter songs...they would've been very welcome in the long ones. The younger Dylan knew that. Maybe part of it comes from Dylan producing himself & using his own stage band - nobody's asserting themselves, and who's going to say, "we ought to have a solo here, build it up more..." Apparently no one.

I'm sure he's intentionally writing his new songs in a narrow melodic range to make them easier to sing... But that means his songs just aren't too catchy anymore.
The melody of Tempest was actually very similar to that of the Rabbit Brown song I posted, & I appreciated that. What Brown does at the end of his song is more brilliant than anything Dylan does, though...

Hey, Roll On John could've been like Joey..."What made them want to come and blow you away?"...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Sep 16, 2012 8:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dylan's 'Tempest' , somewhat Dead related

On further listening to the song, "Tempest", I like it more . I actually find it oddly moving, and don't mind the length as much . I forgot to thank you for the links to the other Titanic songs, I am almost sure that Dylan has that Rabbit Brown one in mind . And the :Nearer My God To Thee" ending on it is indeed great .
The two most interesting uses I know, of the "Nearer My God"/Titanic connection would be . Gavin Bryars work "The Sinking of the Titanic", where he builds his spacy, work around it .
http://www.amazon.com/Bryars-Sinking-Titanic-Barnett-Ensemble/dp/B0000040UW
I recommend this fuller one that the one with Eno .

And a very strange, and beautiful anime "Nigh on The Galactic Railroad" (1985).
The hymn is heard as through the water, in a surreal version of the Titanic sinking . Here is part .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wGRB49XCPE&;feature=related

The "Joey" conection to "Roll On John" , is pretty funny .